My project studies stars. I make software to help the team do that. I don’t really do the astronomy myself, as that’s not my specific job.
There’s a big difference here between scientists and engineers working in science. Scientists have to write research papers in science journals to keep their jobs. Engineers sometimes write those papers but it’s not the main thing we’re paid to do.
Kind of. I study dead stars which have collapsed into a black hole or formed a neutron star. I’m then very interested in when they smash into each other and emit “gravitational waves”. These gravitational waves are ripples in the very space and time which we exist! They’re really cool!